A quick word on Bali Raw and Bali Undercover by Malcolm Scott.
My books Bali Raw and Bali Undercover are still being reviewed after six years of being published by Monsoon Books. I stumbled over the review below in one of Bali’s most popular newspapers and I take it as a compliment.
The review written by Pak Bill from The Bali Advertiser was complimentary in some areas and critical in others. This never bothers me as the reviewer’s job is to point out the good and bad and opinions are always subjective.
If I were to take issue, it would be with Pak Bill’s claim that not all my stories are true. I can assure you they are and that I am always careful to be as honest as possible with the stories I write.
This review also means that my first two books are relevant after a very long period of published time and that is important to a writer. I am also very grateful that I have the continued opportunity to share my experiences with as many people as possible.
Perhaps it is because Bali Raw and Bali Undercover are still selling really well, but the reviewer also didn’t realize that I have released two other books and I have a third on the way.
I recently published the books, Bali Belly and Crisis in Cambodia which are available from this website. And Killing a Kiwi in Thailand, my fifth book, will be available in 2018.
I can only hope all three of these books entertain and inform as much as my first two books have done. I would also like to thank Pak Bill, and The Bali Advertiser, for helping to keep my first two books relevant.
Bali Raw Bali Undercover a Review
Bali Raw and Bali Undercover claim to expose Bali’s underside: rampant prostitution, turf wars waged between local gangs and vicious drug- and alcohol-induced Western hooliganism.
With stories depicting cruelty, deception, infidelity, larceny, betrayal, conflict and despair, the reader might believe that Westerners are robbed, raped and murdered at every turn. Some stories are so extraordinary that you wonder if they are made up or grossly exaggerated for shock value. But we who live here are know that Bali is not that place and realize that these stories are not actually about Bali but about the dark heart of the Kuta area.
From the first ugly, sickening story in Bali Raw, I had misgivings that these were going to be a gladiator’s allegories of unending violence that only a pugnacious macho Aussie He Man could relate to. But I soon found that the stories possessed a strange and captivating energy.
In spite of both books’ depressing and questionably true content, there is a consistent underlying ring of truth behind Malcolm Scott’s costly hard-earned lessons on how to deal with and interact with Indonesians, their cultural characteristics and social prejudices as well as the utter unpredictability of life in Bali.
The chapter “How to Take a Villa from a Westerner,” for example, he suggests should be read by anyone who claims that “my Balinese friend is like family and never asks for money.”
Although there are truisms that apply to people and places all over the world, many of the writer’s insights have been gleaned from living in Indonesia for more than ten years: It’s wise to take any statement that an expat makes about himself with a pinch of salt.
*There is a syndrome that afflicts many Western men of wanting to “save” Indonesian prostitutes.
*Tales of older Western men taking up with younger Javanese women and moving to Java almost always turn out bad.
*Your safety as a Westerner is not necessarily secured by your generosity.
*Loyalty, friendship and love are commodities that are traded on a rental basis; the contract only valid as long as you pay.
*Don’t cross or get an Indonesian woman angry or face the consequences.
*Never slap or hit an Indonesian; all the worse if you do it in front of people.
*The key to dealing with Balinese authorities such as the police is to be polite.
Yet I feel that readers who give the books short shrift and are unremittingly critical do not give the writer his just due.